By Marija Avramovic – Zagreb
In marking the end of the regular session of Parliament, President of the Croatian Parliament Josip Leko held a press conference yesterday in which he assessed that the Parliament in the first half of the year fulfilled its constitutional duty, but also said that he wasn’t completely satisfied, especially with the largest number of laws still brought in an emergency procedure.
He stressed that each representative is personally responsible for the work of the parliament, and only citizens can evaluate how well someone is doing. One of the indicators for this is the report on how much time representatives were active during this parliament.
Boro Grubisic of the Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB) in two and a half years spoke in parliamentyet 1364 times, while some representatives, like Josip Vukovic and Zeljko Kerum from Social Democratic Party (SDP) did not utter a word in the parliament’s session.
The biggest spender among representatives was Frano Matusic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) with 113.639 kuna (14.900 euros), while 10 MPs hadn’t spent any money in this session of parliament.
A few days before closing for the summer, the Parliament passed two important laws, the Labour Law and the Law on civil partnership.
The new Labour law allowes for the work week, with the redistribution of working hours,to extended to 50 or 60 hours, if so determined by the collective agreement.
In favor of the Law on civil partnership voted 89 representatives and 16 of them were against. According to this law, gay couples will enjoy the same rights as married partners, except for the right to adopt children. With the government’s amendment, the Law on civil partnership will take effect from September 1, in order to apply together with the new Family Law.
Parliament sent a referendum question on bilingualism to review its constitutionality; a decision that was based on the proposal of the Committee on the Constitution, which found that the question on which citizens should decide in a referendum whether the right to official use of their language and script of national minorities must be achieved in areas where they’re more than a half population, instead of the current one third of the population, is inconsistent with the Constitution, as well as with a number of international treaties including the Treaty of Accession to the EU.
NGO GONG held a press conference yesterday concerning their initiative to change the electoral law which, so far has been backed by 28 MPs.
GONG member and the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science Nenad Zakosek stressed that GONG, if there is no reaction of the ruling majority in their present initiative, in the fall with the help of the 28 MPs he will present basic, targeted proposals to change the electoral law.
He believes that it is not a valid argument that there are more important tasks of these reforms because some shortcomings in the electoral legislation affect the croatian economy.
The departure of MPs on summer vacation will move workers in the building at St. Mark’s Square No. 6 and the summer break will be used for the long-awaited installation of a new conference system in Parliament.
(Photo: Goran Vranic)